Group Visits

Hardy's cottage is available for group bookings

We're delighted you've booked, or are thinking about booking a group visit to Hardy's Cottage. Here's all the pre-visit information you need to ensure you have a fantastic time here.

Help us help you

Due to the small size of Hardy's Cottage, we ask that all groups of more than 10 provide us with advance notice, so that we can make sure we can cater for your group. Please note, we do not accept group bookings in the school summer holidays (18th July to 1st September 2020). Our maximum group size is 25 people. Arrival time must be during our quieter period, between 1pm-3pm. To book a group visit, please ring 01305 262366 or email hardyscottage@nationaltrust.org.uk

In order to ensure that your visit is as enjoyable as possible, it would be helpful if you could answer the following questions:

  • The planned time of your arrival and approximately how long you hope to stay at the cottage (we recommend an hour and half for groups, to include the walk from your drop-off point.)
  • If you’d like us to provide a short talk to your group (charges apply, see below), please suggest what you would like the talk to focus on, for example, is your group studying a particular Hardy novel, sequence of poems or specific Hardy themes? Is your group interested in a particular aspect such as Hardy's early life or just a general introduction to the cottage?

For your information

Admission costs 2019

For groups of under 15:
Standard Adult £7.50 Gift Aid Adult £8.40
*Standard Child £3.75 Gift Aid Child £4.20

For groups of 15 and over (maximum group size is 40):
Group Adult £7.10
*Group Child £3.50

*Child rate applies to children aged 5 to 17 years old, under 5s are free.

National Trust members are free. This does not affect other group members’ group rate.

Special talks can be arranged in advance; the cost is £20.00 for a 20-minute talk or £2 per person for a poetry walk (minimum of £20.00) and it is subject to staff and volunteer availability.

We accept payment on the day, by cash or card.

Practicalities

Please report to the Visitor Centre on arrival.

The cottage is small, for safety reasons we can only permit eight people upstairs at a time. If your group is larger than this, please be aware that you will be divided up into smaller groups, but there is plenty to see both inside and outside the cottage. Please dress for the weather and wear suitable footwear.
Your group will be issued with a specific time for entrance into the cottage/grounds as all admissions are on a timed-ticket basis. Please specify your desired entrance time upon booking.

During your visit the cottage will be open to the general public, who will also be visiting the cottage at the same time as your group.  

Facilities

Although there is no toilet at the cottage, our Visitor Centre has toilets and a café. Please note that the Visitor Centre, café and toilets all close at 4pm, with last orders for the café at 3:30pm.

The café (not National Trust) has limited seating, and so we request that groups give advance notice. If you wish to book tables for lunches or teas and coffees, please contact Sarah Key by email. During the winter, or on quiet days, the cafe occasionally closes earlier.

Parking

We have limited parking. Please try to be economical with travel by car sharing or hiring a minibus. 

The car park is owned and managed by Dorset County Council. Parking is free for National Trust members visiting the cottage. You will need to give your vehicle registration details to the member of staff in the Visitor Centre to get free parking. Parking charges for non-members and members not visiting the cottage are £1 for up to 2 hours and £3 for over 2 hours.

The car park is unsuitable for coaches, and so they are required to drop off on Cuckoo Lane and find parking elsewhere.* Please note that the drop off point is a 10-15 minute walk from the cottage, on an unsurfaced bridlepath.

*Local Coach Parking/Drop off points

  • Dorchester Top o’ Town Car Park. Prices can be found here
  • A35 E-bound layby between Dorchester and Puddletown
  • Hampton Farm Business park, Higher Bockhampton – Michael Jones is happy to provide parking for coaches for £20 for up to three hours. Please call to book in advance on 07798500120.